Nadasurabhi Cultural Association located in Koramangala, Bangalore is in the forefront of promoting Classical Carnatic Music. Nadasurabhi conducts the highest quality music concerts every month and a week-long Annual Festival in November, free of charge to all rasikas. Our other events include a youth festival, Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana, and music competitions for children.
Written by Sri.V.Sriram. Extracted from the book Carnatic Summer with the author’s kind permission and published in Nadasurabhi Souvenir 2007
Carnatic Music is a peculiar name for an art form that lays claim to a lineage stretching back over many centuries. But why the term ‘Carnatic’ music, or its more Indian version ‘Karnatak’ music ? It certainly had nothing to do with the eponymous modern state in south India that has its capital as Bangalore.
Several reasons have been given as to why the name Karnataka Sangita for the music of south India. Many have opined that the region south of the Vindhyas was referred to as Karnatakam and hence the name. The word Karnatakam also stands for ‘that which is very old’ and scholars have interpreted it to mean that this music form is an old one. Yet another explanation is that the word derives from Karna (the ear) + Ata (to haunt) or ‘that which haunts the ear’. That would certainly be an apt description for Carnatic Music.
Written by Smt.Harini Raghavan
The word ‘Varna’ in general, has different meanings like, colour, a syllable or people belonging to a particular sect, and so on. Bharata, the author of ‘Natyasastra’- one of the earliest literature on music- describes Varna as ‘a mode of singing’ (Ganakriyaa uchchyate varnaha). Here Varna means musical notes or ‘Swaras’. Varna evolves from ‘sapta swaras’ and expresses itself through various combinations of these ‘sapta swaras’. In yet another treatise the process of singing itself is described as Varna. Matanga explains the features of Varna as existing in groups of notes, traversing in the pattern of ‘Taanas’. An earlier treatise says that the ancient Varna patterns have absolutely no relation with the present Varna forms, and therefore Varnas must have come into existence only after ‘Kritis’ were shaped. Presently, in the field of carnatic music Varna is one of the most popular pieces of composition which has its own definite form and a huge variety. It has prime of place both as a practice piece (abhyasa gana) and a warming up piece in a regular concert.
Written by K.S.S.Raghavan. Published in Nadasurabhi Souvenir 2006
Two of the most important contributions of South India to the world body of knowledge are Carnatic Music and Tamil literature. Both these fields are ancient, rich and provide intellectual and emotional satisfaction to millions of people.
It is interesting to note that Tamil literature (particularly Iyal, in Prose and poetry form) contains in itself vast amounts of knowledge on Music. Starting from the earliest Tamil Literature available to us today (around 200 BC*), it is possible to trace the various forms of music (Isai) that had existed in different periods and the way it has transformed into today’s Carnatic music, by absorbing techniques from other Indian forms of music.
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